• Ideally materials are a microscopic matrix of small balls that form a larger solid. In reality the atoms that make of solids fall into local pockets of well organized matrices. It is very rare to find a solid that is made up of a single structure.
• Solids typically fail because cracks form, and then quickly propagate through solids. It is the chemistry and non-homogenous structure that can slow or stop these cracks. The composition of the solid also determines how stiff it is.